The City Council of Kansas City just voted 10 to 1 to declare some asphalt parking lots and grass fields just south of Crown Center as blighted so that the area can qualify for public subsidies. Even the Kansas City Business Journal’s headline was skeptical of the effort, declaring, “Officials hold noses and declare $80M Crown Center development site blighted.”
Council members Quinton Lucas and Heather Hall voiced reservations. Hall found it “really hard for me to swallow that pill.” But she did. Lucas said the blight claim “sure doesn’t seem to pass the smell test of what blight is.” Yet he voted to support it. Only Councilwoman Alissia Canady voted against the measure.
The Journal concluded, "What we are hearing from staff is that once something is blighted, it’s always blighted..." Hall added. "That’s got to stop."
Then stop it. All the hand-wringing and nose-holding in the world doesn’t matter if councilmembers continually vote yes.